29 June 2013


This week I had my first training class down in Kalispell. Kinsey thought we needed a little professional instruction. The trainer is Ellie Bell at Best Friends Dog Training. Kinsey keeps wanting to call her Nellie Belle. Kinsey had a huge stuffed cow when she was a kid. The toy was given to her by her grandmother who's name was Eleanor but family and friends called her Nell or Nellie so she named the cow after her. That was no insult. Kinsey loved her grandmother and her toy very much. Sadly, her grandmother passed away when Kinsey was only 11.

When we arrived there was a big board at the door that said "Welcome Molly Montana". I thought that was a nice touch. My photographer was AWOL so I don't have any photos to show you.

Ellie's style is what she calls "positive training" and that's what we were looking for, not just for me but for Kinsey too. Kinsey felt she needed positive re-enforcement that the things she was doing to help me with my personal growth were the right things. It's been nearly 14 years since she last raised a puppy and the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. Hope she doesn't read that.

Ellie offers both private and group classes. We chose the series of four private classes because Kinsey has undiagnosed ADD and gets lost in a group. Hey, she says it about herself.  The nice thing is, we can drop in on group classes anytime we want as long as we live for just six dollars. We think it's the best of both worlds.

I think Ellie was impressed with all the stuff I already know how to do but clearly there's still much work to be done. The most important thing Kinsey wants me to learn is to stop or wait on command no matter how far away she is or how big the distraction, like a deer I want to chase. I showed I was real good at that in a building with no distractions. But, Kinsey knows all those disciplined thoughts fly right out of my little head when a deer appears.

Some things I didn't know because nobody told me. For instance, Kinsey is supposed to go through the door first. Well, pardon me, it's the first I heard of it. I'm getting the hang of it but what am I supposed to think when Kinsey forgets? So, do you see what I mean about both of us being in training?

I have the habit, as most dogs do, to want to jump up on people and pull on my leash. Ellie recommends the Gentle Leader Dog Collar . Personally, I don't. They tried to get the thing on me and I would have none of it. But hey, this stranger gets in my face with this strange thing to put on my nose? I don't think so. Ellie, gave up and told us to work on it at home. At home Kinsey got the collar right on but I got it right off. So now we are practicing just wearing the collar a few minutes at a time. I'll have to get back to you on whether or not this is going to be the no pull solution for me.

Anyway, we had a real good time and were sent away with tons of homework. I'll keep you up to speed on our progress.

©Kinsey Barnard

24 June 2013


For some time now Kinsey has wanted to have breakfast at the Pocketstone Cafe in Bigfork, Montana. So, last Wednesday she decided to give it a go.

Naturally, I got stuck sitting in the car. Kinsey told me she wouldn't be long. An hour later she returned. Seemed like a day. Things hadn't gone too well in the restaurant. The waitress forgot to put in her order and it was a half hour before she figured it out. Then it was another twenty minutes before Kinsey got her ham and cheese omelet. The ham was so hot she burned her tongue. Needless to say her Pocketstone experience wasn't what she had hoped for. I say, that's what she gets for going to a $10.00 omelet place. For once I was better off staying in the car! Ha Ha!

Bigfork is a very cute little artsy village on the Swan River at the north end of Flathead Lake. We wandered around the village looking for meet and greet training opportunities, which I am sorely in need of. Not my fault. I don't get a lot of practice up at the ranch. People were very friendly and I tried my best not to jump all over them. Also, I got nothing but compliments about how pretty I am. I felt like a princess.

I did get the fright of my life. As we were walking along we came upon this life size sculpture of an Indian chief on his horse. The second I saw him I bristled and barked. I planted my feet and refused to pass by. It took quite a bit of cajoling to get me to move along. The thing sure looked real to me.

We drove home via Creston and Kinsey saw an old red barn she just could not resist photographing.

Bigfork, Montana
The Indian who scared me.

The red barn in Creston, Montana
©Kinsey Barnard

22 June 2013


Ever since Kinsey came along and took me into her heart and home I have been a little in the shadow of Uncle Koty aka Lakota Sunrise. Nothing real bad but I know she still aches from his loss. Her eyes tear up and her voice cracks when she talks about him. Practically every place we have been she had been there with Koty. And when she tells me about it she gets all choked up.

I don't begrudge this, really. I get it. I can only hope Kinsey would love me so much. But, I have been wishing and hoping for new experiences we could call our own. Places to roam that neither of us have been before.

Well, my wish has been granted. This week we discovered the Mother Lode of trails in the Salish Mountains of Montana. Kinsey has never hiked here before and the place we discovered has so many trails it will be a very long time before we have explored them all.

On our first hike in this special place we ran into a skunk on the trail. Well, that nearly undid me I can tell you. I wanted to go after that thing like there was no tomorrow. Thank goodness I was on the leash. No telling what might of happened if I had not been. Think unpleasant aromas. We also found a pond. That doesn't ring my bell half as much as a skunk but Kinsey is dippy for water. So we both got our favorite stuff. I really can't wait to go again.

Me checking out a deer down the meadow

The Whitetail I saw down there.

Very pretty pond
©Kinsey Barnard

14 June 2013


I suppose it was bound to happen. That cute little puppy that used to sit quietly on the hillside Watching Over My Deer Flock has become a deer crazed adolescent.

Everything was just fine until one day those deer just took off and I took off after them. Now I get myself all in a tizzy every time I see one. As a result my wings have been severely clipped because there are deer all over the place right now.

Kinsey now takes me out on what she calls the "the long line" and is using it to practice getting me to wait or stop on command.  She let's me get about three quarters of the way to the end of the rope and calls out "STOP" or "WAIT". I'm supposed to stop in my tracks. So far I do real good when there are no deer about but when one pops up out of the tall grass I still get pretty distracted.

I'm a dog. Chasing is in my nature. So, I mean, seriously what would you expect? But, I think given enough practice I can get the hang of it and let the deer be. It's not going to be easy I can tell you that for sure.

Me at the end of my rope. Kinsey flat on her patookie.

My favorite squeak toy

All wet from playing in the pond

Keep in mind I'm just a kid.

©Kinsey Barnard

05 June 2013


Monday Kinsey had some business to attend to in Cranbrook, BC. On the way home we stopped by Kikomun Provincial Park.

The idea was for me to get to take a frolic in the Kootenay River. It's a great spot for such. Upon arriving at our destination we were greeted by a posted warning of a cougar in the area. I think I'd probably make a really tasty morsel for a big cat.

Kinsey figured if we went to a spot in the open we would be ok. A cat would be less likely to come at us in an open space and we could see it coming from a good distance. If worse came to worse we could jump in the water. Cats don't like water, at least I don't think they do. In any event I had a great time splashing around in the river, racing along the rocky shore and we never saw the kitty.

After the river fun we went over to Surveyor Beach, still inside the park. It was too was posted with a warning about the cougar. The trail around the lake is beautiful and very densely forested. Lots of places for a cat to hide. Kinsey says cats make her a little nervous. They are the only large critters in the forest that will actually stalk you. Bears, moose and the like generally take off in the other direction, not so the stealthy cat.

We didn't let the cat stop us from taking the trail but I stayed on the leash and Kinsey kept a sharp lookout. Not that keeping a lookout for a cat would do much good. Those beauties can ponce on your before you know what's happening.

I guess you can tell from the fact that I am writing this blog post that the cat must have been taking a nap. We enjoyed our walk without mishap.

Over the past ten years that Kinsey has been coming here they have really spruced this park and campgrounds up. If you ever find yourself on Highway 3, about halfway between Cranbrook and Fernie, and want to take a rest you should check this little park out. Cougars or no it's a beautiful spot.

Bye for now.

Yikes! Look at that sign!

Big kitty at play

Trail around Surveyor Lake

More me on the Surveyor Lake trail

Frolicking in the Kootenay River
©Kinsey Barnard

03 June 2013


Saturday we took a hike up the Blacktail Trail. The wildflowers are really starting to come out now. I've never experienced them before. They are so pretty!

There isn't all that much to say about the hike except that Kinsey tripped over a branch and nearly wrecked herself. Luckily all she got was a skinned and bruised knee. She refers to these spills as her bone density tests.

The main thing about the hike was all the flowers so pictures were the thing. I think my personal photographer is starting to get her mojo back.

Our favorite photos go into my online gallery. I am providing the links for the next two because they are so much nicer to look at than the ones I can upload to the blog.

MY PORTRAIT with a wildflower background.

MY EYE Kind of an artsy thing Kinsey did of my eye in black and white.

Last but not least, this is what I want for my bumper sticker.

Bye for now.

©Kinsey Barnard

02 June 2013


Last week I had to go down to Kalispell to get the stitches taken out of my tummy. Thank goodness it was a quick and easy procedure. I must say I am amazed at what a nice job Dr. Rick did. I think he may be a closet plastic surgeon. The incision was tiny and has healed to the point where I can barely see it. My feminine beauty is unblemished!

For a treat Kinsey decided to take us to Lone Pine State Park. Lone Pine is a Montana State Park not far from Kalispell. In fact, there are some really great views of Kalispell and the whole Flathead Valley from up there. Seems like lots of people use it to get their exercise runs in. It was raining and people were running all around. My kind of people.

Ha Ha! I got her hat.

Along the trail

Patiently waiting for Kinsey to navigate her way downhill and catch up.

Just me looking nice.